The upcoming MSc project is a working partnership with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to carry out a research project on the effect of composting on invasive plant propagules (seeds, stems, roots, rhizomes, etc.). Invasive plant propagules present in soils are a significant threat to environmentally sensitive areas and infrastructure if these materials are used in road construction, reclamation, and other projects. Furthermore, it is becoming increasingly difficult to identify locations for disposal of invasive plants and invasive plant-contaminated material and, if and when found, also comes with a significant cost. However, if material could be composted to the point where it is determined to no longer contain viable plant propagules, disposal costs would be greatly reduced or even eliminated as the material could potentially be used for reclamation rather than discarded as surplus material. The goal of this research project will be to develop an experiment to study the effectiveness of various composting methods for priority invasive species (including knotweed, knapweed, and others) and investigate the potential for the resulting material to be used for reclamation. Other possible methods may also be considered along with cost/benefit analysis. Students will be expected to reside in Kamloops, BC and be on campus at Thompson Rivers University for the duration of the study (2 years).
Funding for the project is supplied and includes a research stipend of $21,000 per year for the graduate student. To qualify, applicants must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents and have a degree in Natural Resource Science, Environmental Science or BSc in Ecology or a related field. Students interested need to meet the qualifications for the Master of Science in Environmental Science program at Thompson Rivers University. The selected student will be admitted through the MSc in Environmental Sciences program at Thompson Rivers University.
Interested applicants need to send a copy of their Curriculum vitae, post-secondary transcripts, and a cover letter describing your academic interests and qualifications and outlining why you want to carry out a graduate degree in this area by Oct 7, 2022 to:
Dr. Wendy Gardner
Department of Natural Resource Science, TRU firstname.lastname@example.org